Ljubljana – The volume of cars on roads will be increasing rapidly in the coming years, so the development of zero-emissions vehicles will be key, heard a debate held by the British-Slovenian Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. The participants, including the UK’s Minister of State for Trade Policy Greg Hands, agreed that technological development was thus vital.
Given the forecasts that the number of cars worldwide will double in the next two decades, emissions will have to be curbed significantly, Hands said.
The UK has been successful in such efforts as driving more environmentally-friendly cars comes at a lower cost there than driving diesel or petrol engine cars, he noted, adding that the former would soon be even cheaper.
Apart from health benefits, such vehicles will also reduce dependence on costly oil, Hands said during the Tea with Reason debate.
Matjaž Knez, a professor at the Maribor Faculty of Logistics, expressed optimism about the future, noting though that efforts to meet climate targets and 2050 carbon neutrality would have to be stepped up. A lot will depend on the development and competitiveness of alternative technology prices, he added.
Efforts to raise awareness among the general population, including the young, should be boosted as well. “If people understand that there is no plan B and if politicians clearly back the green transition, these technologies will become part of our every-day life,” he said.
Also participating in the debate via videolink was Education Minister Simona Kustec, who highlighted the role of research in this transition and called for including as many stakeholders as possible in making plans for the green future.
British Ambassador to Slovenia Tiffany Sadler said that Slovenia and the UK shared views on climate change and commitments to tackle it. Since she arrived in Slovenia five months ago, she has seen many opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in science and innovation, Sadler added.